MSU Grandparent's University Event Management System


ICS Product/Service Area: MarketSmart Web Portals/Systems, Email Marketing, Printing/Production, Fulfillment

The Challenge

Grandparents University is a highly successful 3-day program for alumni and grandchildren ages 8 to 12 to experience Michigan State University (MSU) while spending time together on campus, living in the dorms, attending classes across campus and sampling the many highlights of MSU.  This program hosts 800-1,000 participants.

Managing this program was very labor intensive with complex requirements, such as payment, housing assignments, course registrations, liability waivers, special needs/handicap accommodations, evening event registrations, etc.  Administrators needed to drive down program management cost and complexity, improve communications with participants and make enrollment, payment and course registration more user-friendly.  Furthermore, the solution needed to integrate with MSU’s existing web site setup.

The Solution

ICS created a Grandparents University Event Management System by using its MarketSmart technology platform for custom, secure, web portals. Designed as a multi-user tool, ICS’s system greatly streamlined the registration process for sign-ups, class selections, scheduling, housing assignments and more.

The new online system is also loaded with custom reporting for each level of the administrative functions. This allows for easy tracking of classes, sections, instructors (and their assigned students), classroom locations and housing assignments. Data is also downloadable. This gives Administrators the ability to create "user-generated" reports.  In addition, instructors have system access to view their schedule and the registration list for his/her course.

Participants can easily enroll, pay, view course descriptions, register for courses, download/complete waivers and forms, view shuttle schedules and create their personalized three-day itinerary.  The system also triggers email and postal communications to participants.

The Results

ICS’s Grandparents University Event Management System provided all of the functionality described earlier while seamlessly interfacing with MSU’s existing web site.  ICS’s solution dramatically simplified program management processes, reduced costs and improved the overall participant experience.

“Everything went really well.  I like the new system very much...especially the selection of classes by name rather than number. I also liked that the payment info was handled within the GPU website rather than being transferred into the MSU general shopping site.  CONGRATS!!!  I hope everyone has as easy a time as I did…Thank you for your kind and patient assistance!”
Sue, MSU Grandparents University Participant

“The class part of the registration was absolutely wonderful.  Previous to having the system assign classes, we did all of that on a manual basis and it was awful.  It was so nice being able to go in and look at the classes available and to make changes right then and there…Grandparents University was a great success and thank you for everything.  You made my job so much easier.”
Barbara Susa-Fineis, Michigan State University Alumni Association